My Reflection on the Issues, the Resources and the Rules

The Cabinet retreat over the last few days brought back memories and deep thoughts. From afar, the problems seem very easy to solve and many times we wonder why those before us didn’t solve them?

Here are my honest observations:

  1. the problems are too many. it is unbelievable how the problems are all over the place. in every sector or ministry or agency, there are just too many problems. sometimes it seems like for every problem that is solved there are many more that pop up.
  2. the resources to address the problems are very limited. trying to rationalize the distribution of resources sometimes makes you feel stupid. its like you don’t know what you are doing but the truth is that it is not easy. the size of the resource envelop when compared to the size of the problems, you don’t know where to start.
  3. and then the rules. we spend a lot of time trying to obey the rules that the small resources don’t do much. in fact, obeying the rules have also put strain on the resource envelop. it is now costing a lot in money and time

Truth be told, I don’t envy those who have the herculean task of brining all those things together: solving multiple problems with very limited resources within a very complicated rule-based regime.

I tell people, imagine fitting a request for 2 billion into an envelop of 500 million. at certain point the distribution has no science, no rhyme and no rhythm. the distribution defies reasoning. there are times when we have to cut support from “revenue generating” entities simply because we don’t have; not because we think they are not important. we know that they are important but then some “cost center” or “social service” or “security” will not be funded. but then again if we don’t fund the “revenue generating” we might not be able to raise the resources to fund the other stuff. this stuff starts to drive you crazy…

Because I sat there before, I know what they are going through and I can only wish them the best.



I am a Liberian professional with passion for pro poor economic development and grassroot political organizing. I have read public policy, corporate finance and accounting at various levels. I have worked in government, private sector and non-profit sector.

6 thoughts on “My Reflection on the Issues, the Resources and the Rules”

  1. I too agree with you in the highest degree. It seems very easy having the solution but implementing it why sitting in the chair is a challenge. The reason is not qualification or competency but the competitng demamds couple with the rules of engaememt. You are under obligation to abide by the laws n resolve the problem in a timely fashion using a minimum budget. It is then you have to rationalize and prioritize. To others outside n some time to yourself it seems stupid but for the moment or month you got a piece of job/task completed. This is the real deal in public sector.


  2. Well said Doc. K but our country, Liberia can get there when our leaders start to be respecters of laws ensuing justice for all and not few; when our leaders start to place Liberians in positions not based on who know you basis, no country on earth has drum of moneys sitting to support growth and development but committed and dedicated people always help to shift the destiny’s of their country. I surely know that Liberia has some focused minded people around and when giving the time will move the country forward as in the case of other countries. That’s my take for now
    Deacon Bob N Johnson


  3. I believe in an economy where everything seems to be a priority, the setting of priority becomes an issue.
    And these issues can only be resolved by the full involvement of all stick holders.
    It’s like having a tinning wedding cake with so many Family members to divide it with, how can that be handled? You don’t want your name to spoil in the family, after all you have eaten others cake.
    Start by serving the family heads. Normally, parents. I mean real parents, their focus is on the children.


  4. Inarguably, resources will always be scarce; given the competing national priorities. However, expanding our domestic resource capacity by identifying additional sources of domestic revenue generation can aid greatly in reducing the headache of resource distribution. There comes the shrewdness of our fiscal drivers. Well penned, though.


  5. I think we should seriously look at the revenue (domestic resource mobilization )side of the equation .We have to find ways of broadening the tax base ,both identifying new resources of revenue and by being more assertive in ensuring that those who are liable to pay tax meet their tax obligation fully and timely.we need to develop and implement a policy on mandatory association membership for informal sector players.(like those carpenter guys on the Somalia drive for government to subsidize them in order for them to modernize their products and graduate them in the formal sector. etc.etc )


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